For a new project I'm working on I need to find a building that fits my needs, &...erm...I can't. I could invent it as the idea is set 20 to 30 years in the future, but I'd like something recognisable as I've got in my head an oldish building.
Ideally it would be a library, which Is why I'm asking here amongst other reasons, as a library would fit into the plot, but if necessary I can tweak that around.
I've got in my head an imposing building or part of a complex, three or four storeys high although the number is irrelevant. Preferably a flat area, possibly the roof, where a helicopter could land although could easily be within the grounds. Big enough to be converted into dormotories to house roughly 40 families. Ideally some kind of enclosed yard or similar. And it needs to be imposing enough that it could be defended. Not like a castle or anything but heading that way, maybe by evacuating the ground floors?
Ideally London but as long as its south of the M4 & below the M25 north perimeter it can be worked.
Don't want much do I?
There’s an interesting competition on the cloud this month where the challenge is to resist all temptation to tell and using only show techniques describe a character and a situation. I had a go and I found it a tough one. The discipline required to not simply tell what’s going on is great. Rebecca, forgive me please. I may be drumming up more judging work for you here.
Two friends recently reviewed a competition entry for me (not this comp). One pointed out in a few places that I was "telling", the implication being that I should show instead. The other friend said that the direct style gave a very clear image of the main character and helped her enjoy the rest of the story. These are two people I have a lot of time for and who’s opinions I respect.
Interesting stuff. Being me I did what I wanted to do anyway and sent the entry off with a few changes.
The entry I put into the competition hosted by Rebecca here on the Cloud has been interpreted in diametrically opposite ways by two readers. As it happens one got perfectly right what was in my head, and one got it completely wrong.
These little mots of data suggest a few things to me:
1. People reflect their own experience and way of thinking onto writing if you don’t railroad them.
2. Show is subject to interpretation. If you are relating a story you have to tell it or something else might enter your readers' head, so
2.1. You can’t do without telling it, and
2.2. Sometimes what you want to get across to the reader simply must be said plainly, or
3. I’m not as good as I like to think I am.
For myself I think that there is a right time to tell and a right time to show. To make a book interesting and get the story told, tell the story. To waft your reader across a lake on a sunny August afternoon you can always try to do it with a bottle of Chablis tied to a transom by green cord, chilling in the water as it flows past, gently lapping against the perfectly linear ribbed sides of the craftsman built row boat as Arabella leans back languidly trailing her hand in the water, allowing the soft warm breeze to penetrate her cotton summer dress while her lover propels them across the water, veins standing proud from the corded muscles of his arms as his trousers stretch tight across his thighs, clenching and flexing with each long, powerful stroke of the oars--- then show it, by all means.
Or you can tell it: It was a hot day. He took her out on the lake, got her a bit pissed and got his leg over. This time I think the former, don't you?
But if you try to show only I think the danger is that you will produce one of those lyrical novels that I, at least, get 60% of the way through and realise I have no idea what’s actually going on.
As part of my learning/recovery process after York I have been dosing myself with thrillers, mainly American examples. These seem to be rather successful, both in overall sales figures and the singularly attractive achievement of being in print at all. I think they predominantly tell, but am I right?
Here’s an example taken from David Baldacci’s "Zero Day". He is introducing the second most significant character in the book:
Samantha Cole was not in uniform. She was dressed in faded jeans, white T shirt, a WVU Mountaineers windbreaker, and worn-down calf-high boots. The butt of a King Cobra double-action .45 revolver poked from inside her shoulder holster. It was on the left side, meaning she was right handed. She was a sliver under five-three without the boots and a wiry one-ten with dirty blonde hair that was long enough to reach her shoulders. Her eyes were blue and wide; the balls of her cheekbones were prominent enough to suggest Native American ancestry. Her face had a scattering of light freckles.
She was an attractive woman but with a hard, cynical look of someone to whom life had not been overly kind.
In that first long paragraph I think he has told a lot about this woman. In the second paragraph I think he has shown me something of the same thing. Or is it just a summary? I'm not sure, but in order to show that complete character description in the first paragraph he would have taken so long I’d have been bored to sobs and never got onto the blood spattered bodies in the house.
There is a bit of “show” in that tell-ish description. Her boots are worn down, which to me means she wears them regularly and perhaps isn’t well paid enough to have newer ones. But I reckon that’s principally a paragraph of tell. He even tells us that having the gun on the left means she's right handed. After that he pretty much he gets straight on with the action. Every time he introduces a character he treats us to a quick physical description and a touch of psycho analysis.
I also recently read some Tess Gerritsen. She does the same trick.
Neither of these books are soused with literary merit, I contend. I think you might say they are rattling good tales. At which both have been successful. Both open, incidentally, with very nicely done chapters of lyrical writing showing lots and telling little. But when it comes to moving on to the story, they tell it straight.
I don’t think “Show don’t Tell” is for me. Perhaps “Show and Tell” may well be.
This song was originally written as part of a campaign to stop above ground nuclear testing, which was putting strontium-90 in the air, where it was washed down by the rain, got into the soil and thence to the grass, which was eaten by cows. When children drank the cows milk the strontium-90, chemically similar to calcium but radioactive, was deposited in their bones. Mothers saved their childres baby teeth and sent them to be tested by scientists who indeed found elevated levels of strontium-90 in their teeth. A year after this song was written; President Kennedy signed the treaty against above ground testing...
the grass lifts its head to the heavenly sound
just a little rain, just a little rain
what have they done to the rain
Just a little boy standing in the rain
the gentle rain that falls for years
and the grass is gone
the boy disappears
and the rain keeps falling like helpless tears
and what have they done to the rain?
just a little breeze out of the sky
the leaves pat their hands as the breeze blows by
just a little breeze with some smoke in its eye
what have they done to the rain
just a little boy standing in the rain
the gentle rain that falls for years
and the grass is gone
the boy disappears
and the rain keeps falling like helpless tears
and what have they done to the rain?
My crew was spread out in impossible poses all over the roof top in varying states of dress and consciousness.
I handed over to Dave-the- welder and went for another walk around the block and my 223rd coffee of the day. Dave solemnly promised not to throw anyone important off of the roof ... for the next 40 minutes.
I sat down outside a Pret at a table with an empty seat and the two people smoking incessantly in front of empty cups looked at me as if I had shit on their shoes. I smiled my best smile and raised my coffee to them in mock salute.
I'm stunned by what I can and cannot do on this website, particularly in relation to my own stuff.
To summarise :
1. In a topic which I begin, I can edit the first post whenever I like. (Fine - I have no problem with that).
2. In the same topic, I can Delete not only my own posts, but those made by other people! (This is appalling - I shouldn't be able to delete other people's posts, even if I did start the topic.)
3. In topics that others have started, I cannot edit or remove my own posts, not even in a brief 'window', e.g. up to 15 minutes after posting. (This is also bad - I should be able to edit my posts or even delete them).
In all other forums you can edit yourself, even if they only give you a brief period of time in which to do this. Popular sites like Facebook and Twitter allow you to delete your own posts whenever you want. Nowhere else do I have the power to delete posts made by other people.
Are other people shocked by this? I'd be interested to hear a variety of views, especially from Word Cloud moderators who could explain their thinking on this?
I look out as we trundle away from the platform. A sideways look from a train! I turn my head fully to see my town slip by me, melting into beautiful countryside, trees emerging from the mist covering the ground. I see a shire horse being let out into his field. At least I think it is, it was just a glimpse. Fields, empty, except for an odd crow or two!
We slow for the next station stop. The train glides to a halt and the doors open with a star trek swoosh. Yet more weary commuters push on. At least we're fast to London from here!
We're speeding along now, I do like the fast train! The countryside is still here. But slightly to my left above the embankment, I see a long line of stationary cars and lorries! Ah, junction 7 of the great London Orbital. I don't envy them, not much anyway! At least they've got a seat. But, they really are on a road to nowhere.
Through a long dark tunnel. I am sure it has a name, but I couldn't tell you. All tunnels have a name, don't they? This tunnel is the gateway to the urban sprawl of London. No fields, no galloping horses, no trees of note, no this is the metropolis in it's pared back brutality.
We whizz past Chelsfield. I am sure it was once, but now it's filled with commuter flats and a car park! The beauty of it! (I trust you get my sarcastic tone?).
My view is less peaceful now. No tranquillity can be found here. Scrap yards pass me by. Car upon car pilled a top of each other, like old horses waiting to be turned into dog food and glue! Tower blocks appear, modern apartment blocks too, with faux wood cladding to soften their concrete frames. The rabbit hutches of the masses that keep the big city alive.
My ostensible reason for visiting the camp again was to see a talk given by Sue Marsh who writes the blog “Diary of a Benefit Scrounger.” On her blog and the Broken of Britain blog which she helped to found Sue, herself severely disabled by illness, exposes the criminal treatment of the physically and mentally disabled people of Britain at the hands of all three political parties, almost all of the mainstream media, the private companies who wrongly force so many back to work and still much of the public who have internalised the lie that most of those who claim disability benefits do so fraudulently and are simply too lazy to work.
Sue spoke very well to a full Tent City University and there was a live feed for members of the online disabled community to watch their tribune articulate their cause in a space overflowing with ideas. Many of those listening knew very little about the severity of the cuts being shouldered by the sick and disabled or the ordeal of assessments that people have to suffer at the hands of private companies like ATOS. There was warm applause at the end and the sense that the picture Sue painted fitted into a larger canvas that encompassed many of the grievances that brought people to the occupation.
I find the Occupation a fascinating place just to be in and observe, which is why it's all I'm writing about at the moment! It seems to be a draw for so many different people: tourists take as many pictures of the tents as Christopher Wren's famous dome; homeless people mill around somewhat perplexed at the novelty of having so many other people stationary on the streets of the capital; mask-clad teens, exhibitionists and pranksters enliven proceedings attracting intermittent crowds to coalesce around them for no particular reason; journalism, film and photography students fan around wading through the multitude of images ripe for capturing.
Opportunistic MPs and energised liberal vicars give interviews to 24hr news reporters trying to keep pace with the zeitgeist. There appear to be more cameras (video and still) than camp residents as the radio and television correspondents desperately try to frame this (somewhat)organised chaos into a consumable narrative about a faltering national church or the key discussion point: how long does an “anti-capitalist” protest last anyway? The odd bemused and well-to-do looking old folks still attend services at St. Paul's and observe the hive of humanity they must negotiate as if they were a group of nuns who had accidently stumbled into a drum 'n' bass rave. And all the while, the snazzily and distinctly dressed City of London Corporation police force lurk unthreatingly in the background like the Swiss Guard of London's very own financial Vatican City. The customs, conventions and special privileges maintained by the Square Mile are almost as old as the Catholic Church itself.
In some ways this is merely a spectacle and a few of those present view it as such without according it any greater meaning. I think they would be wrong to do so. The key to what the space around St. Paul's has become is it's unconventionality. People don't realise how stifling and regimented a mega city like London can be until something springs up that breaks all conventions. It is like a cross between Speaker's Corner and the old Roman forums. You see middle aged besuited white men discussing poverty and foreign wars with young black men, homeless and substance-addicted people are no longer invisible, City workers engaging with the national conversation.
This experiment is gloriously democratic because it has provided an open space for debate that may have always been legally allowed but had never been previously imagined. People who would never usually talk to each other or even seem to inhabit the same world, are standing in the City of London discussing the most important questions a society can discuss- how do we order ourselves? How much inequality is too much? Can a nation-state ever operate internationally through anything other than self-interest?
Now please don't misunderstand my enthusiasm. I do not believe that this is the forerunner to another crack at Utopian Socialism and it still remains to be seen whether the energy and fire stoked by the occupy movement will manifest itself in true, experienced change in society. However, I do think there is great significance in what is taking place. The way in which the camp's very existence and it's new form of consensus-driven democracy are conceived subverts so many social norms and assumed truths that people's imaginations are being harnessed in a way that institutional politics could never inspire. Westminster politics fears the people, fears the media who depict them and fears the true power behind the throne: finance. But within this space the neoliberal facade has melted into air, it's stand-alone status is no longer self-evident even on its own terms and everything appears to be on the table- for discussion at least.
Seeing Sue Marsh speak so passionately about the cause which has been such a huge part of her life reminded me that there are so many other people, fighting for so many years on other ignored causes and many of them are now gravitating towards Occupy LSX. There may not be the political power to enforce change here but people can begin to feel that the issues dear to them in society are in fact part of a whole and often connected. The fact that the environment is one of open-mindedness and kindness is also a radical departure from the way in which our political discourse and national conversation are typically conducted. This occupation doesn't appear to be going away any time soon because they serve a profoundly necessary function as a kind of living blackboard message that there is more to life than “things.”
It has been proven over recent years that a venal and technocratic political elite, an amoral and rapacious media and now a discredited and compromised church have no claim to speak for the country or to mould our moral foundations. The camp is not perfect by any means (who knows what that would look like anyway?) but in its openness, equality, valuing the free pursuit of education and debate and the occupiers' willingness to sacrifice for what they believe in, I think they are the perfect antidote for the situation that free-market capitalist societies now find ourselves. And perhaps most importantly, the longer they stay in their camp and maintain momentum the longer they shine a light on the practices of the financial sector, the Corporation of the City of London and remind everyone what they have wrought on our world.
While I was there I attended a lecture at "Tent City University" (no tuition fees required) given by Richard Murphy of the Tax Justice Network. This radical East Anglian chartered accountant explained clearly in an hour one of the central reasons why there are now largescale occupations in hundreds of cities across the globe. There is a "Feral Financial Elite" who have no respect for national laws, societies, taxes or jurisdiction - they respect nothing but their own "right" to plunder their way through life consuming the earth's resources. These are the people who have corrupted the political process, created unsustainable inequality and helped to engender an amoral and reductive culture. Our society is in deep trouble and there are people across the country (it remains to be seen how many) who support these occupations because the majority truly have become powerless to shape their own lives in the face of neoliberal globalisation.
I think the "99%" stuff is a little gimmicky. Whilst, as Murphy recounted, the figure is remarkably accurate for the ratio of those who are equipped to (and do) avoid and evade taxation to those who are not (and do not.) The problem is that people perceive this as the protestors claiming to speak for 99% per cent of the country which of course they don't. The other danger of the occupation is of it being perceived as the work of "professional protesters," the kind who would be up for it whether the cause was Climate Camp, Nuclear Weapons, Palestine or other worthy causes. However, right now I couldn't care less- their cause is righteous and the void they are filling in the national discourse needs them. The atmosphere of the occupation has brought out the good in people: cooperation, solidarity and they've received masses of donations from members of the public. Their processes are admirably consensual and democratic, their energy and determination is inspiring and they do it all with good humour and that British staple- politeness.
In this space young people speak from their hearts with passion about politics in a way that is inconceivable for those who follow the well-trodden path through Oxbridge to a thinktank to a Special Advisor role to a safe seat in the Commons. And is it any wonder that young people are so alienated? Over 20% unemployed, EMA abolished, Universities privatised, the Housing Ladder pulled up and this pervasive and stifling consumerist monoculture that eats away at any meaning in life.
As with anything
that challenges the status quo or seemingly just anything that's
discussed publicly in this country there is a torrent of
sneering, cynicism and hysterical vitriol to accompany it so
I'd like to answer some of the charges I've seen and heard
levelled at the occupation by politicians, talking heads, people
called Mick from Lewisham on radio phone-ins and all those lovely
people who post on the Guardian's comment is free site.
Charge 1- "Go get a job and pay your taxes!"
The last time I looked there seemed to be over two and a half million unemployed in this country, almost a million of whom are between the ages of 16-24. Regardless of that, many of those who sleep at the camp and most of those who visit are in employment or volunteer in addition to their involvement with the occupation. It's amazing how much more interested people are that protestors, students and "benefit cheats" don't pay tax than the "offshore" corporations and individuals in the 1% who have left a whopping tax gap for everyone else to fill.
Charge 2- "It's just middle class students"
There's some merit in this accusation- aspects of the camp could have easily been from a music festival or campus bar. However there were also people from all over the world taking part and while they understandably don't sleep there many from the younger and older generations visit regularly to take an active part.
Charge 3- "They've closed down the church"/"Why occupy a church?"
It's quite clear from their name that the protestors originally intended to occupy the London Stock Exchange. This, however, was thwarted by the Metropolitan and City of London police (who maintain a tight guard of the Stock Exchange) and so the protestors set up camp where they are now as close as they could. The church were at first praised for welcoming the protestors and validating their grievances but in deciding to close its doors, despite the camp receiving a safety check from the relevant authorities, one can only assume that its many donations and sponsorships received from their investment bank neighbours has trumped Christian sense of charity. One glance at their website's thank you list is like looking at a who's who of financial crisis-causers.
Charge 4- "They're all hypocrites" (we'll call this the Louise Mensch charge)
To live a life in the UK where you never buy anything, eat anything, watch anything or wear anything that has somehow reached you through the magic of global capitalism is impossible. No matter what politicians say, "consumers" really are not that powerful. This doesn't invalidate the protest, it just further supports the truism that we are all hypocrites though some are more hypocritical of others. Like, say, politicians.
Charge 5- "This is a democracy, we aren't oppressed, form a political party!"
If we've learned
anything from the last three years it's that our existing
processes and institutions are unable or unwilling
to enforce the changes necessary to reorganise
the economy and ensure that this can't happen again.
After a spectacular and unprecedented market failure, the
forces of the status quo have managed to make the focus of debate
sovereign debt crises and bloated welfarism. The sickness
at the heart of western capitalism is neoliberal economics and
yet governments throughout the west whether they are nominally
centre left or centre right are trying to use the same tired
"medicine" (ie shock therapy) and it's not
working. If the political system and the
mainstream media are too often bought off by private
interests or have so internalised thirty years of outmoded
doctrine that any telling reform is made impossible that is
a failure of democracy and protest and occupation against the
corrupting forces in society is absolutely vital and
warranted. There was democracy of an evolving sort
throughout the last few centuries but that didn't stop
popular movements being crucial to winning many
battles against the establishment to affect lasting
Charge 6- "They'll never change anything"
This kind of in-built cynicism is a hallmark in this country and not just in relation to politics. I know because I am usually a serial cynic. There's one reason why I think this time is different. History. There have been two transformational periods in post-war Britain. One directly after the war when the Attlee Government actively engineered the welfare state and built a consensus that argued for government intervention in society and the economy for the general good. This consensus remained largely in tact through Labour and Conservatives governments run on a largely Keynesian model (Republican U.S President Eisenhower had a 91% top rate of income tax in the 1950s!) until the second transformational moment: the election of Margaret Thatcher. She radically defeated the doubters in her own party and the roadblocks to her idea of change in the existing Keynesian system (the Unions.) Like her or loathe her (as I do) her government bequeathed us the consensus that went on through John Major, New Labour to the current Coalition. Ever increasing growth built on credit (masking growing inequality,) cheap labour and materials from the developing world and gambling in the financial sector on, amongst other things, perpetually rising house prices was the settled consensus until the fall of Lehman Bros. in September of 2008. This Coalition is fundamentally no different to New Labour apart from on minor details here and there- that's why Labour politicians find it so hard to argue with them. There has been a "phoney war" since 2008. The elite appear to be as baffled as anyone as to how we can get out of this mess. Now is the crucial time to fight for a new consensus: one which values the planet, values the people on it and sees that the accumulation of "things" can no longer be the central basis for a healthy society. History tells us that the forces of reaction are just as likely to shape the new consensus in the aftermath of economic misery but the converging problems that now face us show the we cannot afford to lose this one.
Charge 7- "What's your alternative? Communism has been tried and it failed."
The battle-cry of the status quo, "There is no alternative." First of all, to ask a bunch of protestors who have only just met each other to have a fully costed manifesto for change is more than a little unfair but the people who pose this question know exactly what they're doing. They don't want to merely defeat different viewpoints, they want to continually cement their own as "the only show in town," they want to eliminate debate or at the very least control the parameters of it. This has largely worked for the last generation but things are already beginning to change. Odd figures on the right are having neoliberal nightmares and recanting their faith in Friedman's bible; the Financial Times, Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail have variously offered qualified praise for UK Uncut or Occupations; Inequality is an issue that is beginning to make its way back on the agenda again- because as Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson show in The Spirit Level- it affects the whole of society and can't be solved by wealth trickling down or some tax credits; we've had unprecedented riots spring up in multiple (and very different) English cities. The country is clearly in flux, the Commandments of neoliberalism are no longer the unquestionable word of God and alternatives must be discussed. The actions of the occupiers and UK Uncut make this possible because they appeal to the media's fly-like brain and attraction to spectacle but they also use new media to spread their message and make young people feel that they can have some agency in their society. Charge 7 is a dishonest argument from an establishment which has never honestly acknowledged what the neoliberal settlement entailed for the majority- people were never told that if the music stopped they'd be left cleaning up the puke and paying for the damage while the kids who'd made the mess went off to carry on playing.
There are choices everywhere in
political economy. There are choices in taxation- we could
have a progressive tax system, a Robin Hood tax, close tax
loopholes, introduce proper land and property taxation, and
enforce country-by-country reporting as devised by Richard
Murphy. We could implement the Green New Deal or Green
Quantitative Easing. We could invest in long-term growth
and infrastructure- universities, high-tech manufacturing, solar
and wind technology, public transport. We could have
stronger unions and acknowledge their importance in a democratic
society as they do in Scandinavia and Germany. We could genuinely
break up and regulate the banking system, or even nationalise
those majority-owned by the tax-payer to ensure they operate in
the public interest and bring down the high street banking
costs of their competitors. We could regulate
advertising so that it doesn't have such a harmful effect on
children or impoverish our aspirations. We could
positively incentivise co-operatives and other democratic
workplace structures, learning from the long-term success of John
Lewis and the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation in the Basque
Country. We could introduce a system of environmental and
social 'goods' to pricing as advocated by the New Economics
Foundation. We could tackle inequality head-on,
across society and introduce pay limits in the public and
private sector so that a CEO can't earn 100 times as much as
his/her cleaner. These kinds of things are not Communism,
which is not the only alternative to turbo-capitalism. They
happen in well-functioning developed-world democracies in Europe
where they don't all live in penury, without IPods and
collectively mourn the loss of their alchemical tax
Having this motley crew pitching up their tents in the shadows of our unelected, unaccountable, untaxable rulers makes me proud. I hope they stay there for as long as they can. Solidarity to them.
"A tall thin old man comes backwards slowly and carefully through the glass door, carrying a metal stepladder in one hand, and in the other a small pot of paint and a small brush. With an air of methodical tidiness, he leans the stepladder against the front of a left-hand stall, stands the pot of paint next to it, places the small brush sideways across the exact centre of the top of the pot."
The fifth part of a hyperfiction based on visits to churches in the City of London. Part 5 takes in the following:
St Andrew Holborn
Christchurch, Newgate Street
St Anne and St Agnes
To view the London Churches project, go to www.londonchurches.org .
- Edward Picot
http://edwardpicot.com - personal website
http://hyperex.co.uk - The Hyperliterature Exchange
The Writers Festival held in London 15th Oct 2011 at the Royal Over seas League.
Great. Ticket for the event - sorted. Bus ticket to London - £12.50 return on National Express rather than Mega bus because Mega bus wouldn't get me there on time.
So I got someone to pick me up 05.10am and take me to Cardiff bus depot. Plus the added issue of folk turning up early with tickets to watch the rugby match on the big screens in the Millennium.
Major changes occurring even in the centre of Cardiff these days.
6am bus to London was quiet and quite relaxing. Feeling a little nervy the bus glided quietly along the motorway. I soooo looked forward to the whole day but worried a tad bit unnecessarily about getting to the ROSL from Victoria Bus Station. I needn't have worried so much. Just jumped in a taxi that took me to the door at on £8, (£7.50 on the return to bus station).
Wow. What a lovely place. They were so helpful on the phone when I'd previously called with some questions and they were just as helpful when I arrived. Teas and Coffees served with a smile, very attentive staff.
The food at lunchtime smelt delicious. I'm no fan of curry, but they put on a great selection of choices. I chose the veg lasagne and it tasted out of this world. So full of flavour, I deemed it worth mentioning here.
The fresh cooked food was gorgious.
I did walk the stairs a few times until I spotted the lift that no one pointed out until later in day. I used the lift after lunch as tiredness really began to take hold by then.
The judges were great and I liked and enjoyed a lot of what they had to say but alas I couldn't hear everything.
I did wonder why a microphone wasn't passed around the audience as people asked their questions, this way we all could have heard far more. I would like to suggest this for next event please Harry and co. :o)
I wish I could remember what they said, but I think a lot of what they said Saturday I've heard Harry and the others say on their mini video's and in their blogs so I didn't feel a lot of it was new new, if you know what I mean.
But there was plenty of new stuff to be learned anyway. Just wish I'd made notes. haha
My book doctor session was with Debi Alpa. I don't believe I've spoken to her on here, but considering she only had 15 mins to explain her notes, not a moment was wasted. So a massive thanks to you Debi if you're reading this. What you said to me and wrote in your notes has been encouraging and will help get me up another level. Unfortunately the slushpile took an opposite view.
The slushpile live event was a bit of a shocker. To be truthful, I entered my stuff and honestly thought I wouldn't get chosen. Why did they select me? Who knows. Why did they select my synopsis over my other 2 pages? Who knows. David appeared a little uncomfortable as he felt compelled to say he thought my story wouldn't sell because youngsters wouldn't read it. That's fine. He's the expert in his field not me and I'm quite happy to listen to what he had to say. After all that's why I submitted my sheets.
I wished there had been time to tell him I'm fine with most comments. If I felt I was ready to submit my Ring of Deceit to agents I wouldn't have been there. If I didn't need advice, I wouldn't have submitted my sheets for comments.
'Skin like a Rhinoceros' they said you need right at the start of the days lectures and I've always believed this to be true. If I didn't feel tough enough to handle the comments I had no business being there. :o)
However, Juliet appeared curious enough that if my submission had landed on her desk she'd want to read a bit more. I'm not entirely sure of what David actually thought but I felt sure my story wasn't his cup-of-tea, which is perfectly fine.
'Twas great to meet and say hi to Emma in person. She mentioned once or twice about having her teacher head on for certain comments but I noticed something else about the way she talked all through the slushpile, she never 'ummed and/or arred' like a lot do. She had stuff to say and spoke at good volume with good clarity never mumbling or rushing through her words at such speeds I couldn't keep up. So thank you Emma.
I was utterly exhausted by lunch time and didn't know if I'd fall asleep during the afternoon as I found it increasingly difficult to concentrate as time ticked by. So thanks loads for reading out my chosen sheet for the comments during the slushpile event.
I had a lot to take on board as is to be expected at events like this and will refrain from making rash decisions on Ring of Deceit.
I'm convinced it has a lot of potential still but I'm also aware that I'm not there yet with it. Still I'm closer now than I'd have ever thought I'd be, and it's all down to word cloud members and office staff for your support, help, advice, encouragement and my ability to attend events like this run by cloudbase office.
I very much enjoyed the day.
It was great to meet and chat to so many.
It was great to meet Laura. Now I can put a face to her name when ever she writes from the office.
NO TAXI RANK! WHERE DO I GRAB A TAXI? WHAT! STEP OUT IN FRONT OF THEM! YOU'RE NOT JOKING ARE YOU?
I was however a little upset I had to go to such lengths to grab a taxi to get back to victoria. Just short of stepping out infront of one/many, no one stopped. So I grabbed a slightly older chap walking past and asked his assistance, he then stepped out onto the road, I took a sharp intake of breath and closed my eyes and a taxi pulled in. hahaha. Hair raising. I won't be doing that again in a hurry. hahaha!
(as most people know I'm recovering from major surgery, cancer and chemo. I am officially in 'recovery', so taking myself to the event on Saturday (alone) was quite a major step for me. I'm pleased with how I handled things and feel ever more hopeful for publication of one of my stories).